Conservation of Phytodiversity



Plants form the key element in maintaining the biodiversity on this Earth by providing suitable habitat, food, and oxygen to all other living beings. Endowed with the unique capacity to convert solar energy into chemical energy, plants synthesise thousands of compounds of importance to our lives, at normal temperature and pressure, without polluting the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this valuable natural resource is depleting at an alarming pace. due to its ruthless and unsustainable exploitation for commercial purpose and habitat destruction. A number of in situ and ex situ methods are being applied to conserve economic plants, including the endangered and threatened species. This chapter describes the various in vitro methods for short-term (tissue/embryo/shoot cultures maintained by periodic subcultures under normal culture conditions), medium-term (under growth limiting medium and environmental conditions) and long-term (cryopreservation) storage of plant biodiversity and discusses their merits and demerits. A number of in vitro genebanks, holding economic plants in the form of cells, tissues, embryos, shoots etc have been established in numerous countries.


Somatic Embryo Zygotic Embryo Slow Freezing Vitrification Solution Cryopreservation Protocol 
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Suggested Further Reading

  1. Ashmore SE (1997) Status report on the development and application of in vitro techniques for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. IBPGR, RomeGoogle Scholar
  2. Benson EE (ed) (1999) Plant conservation biotechnology. Taylor and Francis, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Dullo ME, Ebert AW, Dussert S, Gotor E, Astorga C, Vasquez N, Rakotomalala JJ, Rabemiafara A, Eira M, Bellachew B, Omondi C, Engelmann F, Anthony F, Watts J, Qamar Z, Snook L (2009) Cost efficiency of cryopreservation as long term conservation method for coffee genetic resources. Crop Sci 49:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Engelmann F (2011) Cryopreservation of embryos: an overview. In: Thorpe TA, Yeung EC (eds) Plant embryo culture methods and protocols: methods in molecular biology, Vol 710. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Gonzalez-Arnao MT, Panta A, Roca WM, Escobar RE, Engelmann F (2008) Development and large scale application of cryopreservation techniques for shoot and somatic embryo cultures of tropical crops. Plant Cell Tiss Org Cult 92:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Razdan MK, Cocking EC (eds) (1997) Conservation of plant genetic resources in vitro, General aspects, vol 1. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  7. Razdan MK, Cocking EC (eds) (2000) Conservation of plant genetic resources in vitro, Applications and limitations, Vol 2. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  8. Sakai A, Engelmann F (2007) Vitrification, encapsulation-vitrification and droplet-vitrification: a critical review. Cryoletters 28:251–172Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyDayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University)AgraIndia

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